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Importance of White Blood Cells

Updated on August 12, 2014
White blood cell together with red blood cell.
White blood cell together with red blood cell. | Source

Factors that cause the WBC to decline

  • Viral infections that temporarily disrupt bone marrow function.
  • Congenital disorders characterized by diminished bone marrow function.
  • Cancer or other diseases that damage bone marrow.
  • Autoimmune disorders that destroy WBC, such as Lupus.
  • Drugs that destroy WBC or damage bone marrow. (Antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, etc.)

White Blood Cells (WBC)

When someone says blood the first thing that comes to our mind is that 'red fluid' that flows ibto our veins and arteries.

White blood cells (WBC) are important part of our circulatory system as well as the red bloods. WBC are made up of platelets and plasma and composed of only 1% of our blood but this type of blood cells have huge impact on our body.

Here are the common facts about white blood cells:

  • They are produced in the bone marrow and then stored in the blood and lymphatic tissues.
  • The lifespan of a WBC is just one to three days. This cause the bone marrow to produce WBC constantly.
  • Each element of the WBC performs a specific task aimed at recognizing and reacting to toxins, waste and damaged cells.
  • WBC are well known as the 'immunity cells'

In short, WBC is our protector from various viruses, infections, and other foreign invaders.

Compromised Immunity

The number of WBC increases when a person is fighting infection or disease, and likewise decreases when a person is 'healthy'. WBC are important and without them a person would not able to live.

There are two serious conditions that can compromise a person's life relative to WBC count:

  1. Leucopenia. A low WBC count which limit the body's immune system response to contaminants. Commons signs of weak immune system are; cramps, fever, sore gums, diarrhea, sneezing, headaches, sore throat, etc.
  2. Sepsis. A serious medical condition caused by an overwhelming immune response to infection.

A lack of knowledge can result in a missed or delayed diagnosis of septic shock or severe sepsis, as well as inappropriate or delayed patient management.

Green tea produces antioxidants that helps fight bad infections.
Green tea produces antioxidants that helps fight bad infections. | Source

Green tea is a great source of antioxidants that can help the body fight off infections. Green tea consumption can help boost the immune system and help the body to create more WBC.

Boosting Techniques

A good diet that includes the proper ratio of the essential nutrients the body requires goes a long way in maintaining a good WBC count. This is typically defined as a 2:1 ratio of fruits and vegetables to meat and fish.

Some fruits are good booster of WBC such as:

  • Figs
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Strawberries

While vegetables like are good source of WBC count:

  • Pumpkin
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Beets
  • Spinach

To determine the amount of protein one should consume each day to maintain a recommended WBC level, body weight kilograms. We should consume between 0.8-1gm of protein for every kilogram of body weigh to increase WBC count.

Good sources of dietary protein are:

  • Fish
  • Lean meats
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Cheese

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"Blood Count" Counts!

Whether they are the red blood cells that carry oxygen, the platelets that prevents us from bleeding to death, or the WBCs that work over time as the defense force of the body, it is important to learn that their 'normal' counts are extremely important, for conditions can arise that may increase the risk of an unpleasant and even life-threatening path of life.


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